Esther ‘Granny’ Penny

The Granny for whom the Granny Road was named was a legendary woman. Her name was Esther Penny. She was very well known as a local doctress. In earlier times she might have been taken for a witch because she road a fast horse and always wore a red camelot wool cape, probably made from the wool of her own sheep. She was a beloved doctress attending to those in need from Coram to Yaphank, She doctored the sick, drew blood to reduce fevers, brought babies into the world, mended broken bones. She compounded medicines from the herbs she grew in her garden. This angel of mercy died in 1837 at the age of 103.

The next time you see a street sign saying Granny Road, think about the amazing lady who traveled this same road two hundred years ago, on her flying steed, on a long forgotten errand of mercy.

Stony Brook University Student, Justina Varghese, did extensive historical research on Esther “Granny” Penny. You can download her research here: